With over 18 million inbound visitors, Saudi Arabia registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of 2022. The total tourism spend by these tourists exceeded USD 7.2 billion in the first six months of the year gone by. The Kingdom is also firmly enroute to achieving its ambitious target of 100 million visitors a year by the year 2030 as part of the Vision 2030 set by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
In a press statement, the organisers of the Arabian Travel Market, the largest travel and tourism show to be held in the Middle East, say that owing to these unprecedented numbers, the Kingdom’s burgeoning tourism sector will represent a key focus at ATM 2023, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 1-4.
The statement adds that this year’s Saudi Summit will take place on the Global Stage and focus on the importance of the Kingdom in reshaping the regional travel and tourism landscape now that mega projects are well under way. In addition to the summit, ATM 2023 will feature a host of Saudi exhibitors, including Saudi Arabian Airlines, flynas, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, Asma Hospitality Company, Eye of Riyadh, Itrip, Dur Hospitality, Sadana Real Estate Co, Saudi Amad for Airport Services & Transport Support and many more.
“The ATM 2023 Saudi Summit will offer an ideal forum in which travel professionals and policymakers from across the Middle East and beyond can explore opportunities and challenges within the Kingdom’s ever-growing tourism sector. From upcoming giga-developments such as NEOM and the Red Sea Project to how the Kingdom’s latest visa reforms are bolstering its travel sector, we expect Saudi Arabia to represent a major drawcard during the upcoming edition of ATM,” Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.
The statement adds that as per the figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Saudi Arabia attracted more than 18 million inbound visits in the first three quarters of 2022, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 14.8 million tourists and Morocco with 11 million tourists, which ranked second and third in the region, respectively.
The statement adds that tourism spending in Saudi Arabia also skyrocketed last year, hitting USD 7.2 billion in H1 2022 according to figures released by the country’s Ministry of Investment. Travel experts from around the world will place these statistics under the microscope at ATM 2023, as part of a series of KSA-focused sessions and panel discussions.
The statement adds that besides market-specific focuses such as Saudi Arabia, ATM 2023 will explore the future of sustainable travel in line with its theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’. Having officially initiated its journey to net zero, the conference programme will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends are likely to evolve, allowing delegates to identify growth strategies within key vertical sectors, while providing a platform for regional experts to explore a sustainable future ahead of COP28, which will take place in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai.
The statement says that the conference will also feature a sustainability category at its annual exhibitor awards for the first time. Exhibiting organisations will be recognised based on the extent to which they have considered the environmental impact of their stands, as well as their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. ATM 2023 is held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre and its strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.